DOWNLOAD: Spring 2016 Asian American Voter Survey

June 19, 2016


Entitled, “Inclusion, not Exclusion”, the Spring 2016 Asian American Voter Survey was released last month and provides some very interesting insight into the Asian voting demographic.

Here’s some of the conclusions that it came to as written in the Executive Summary:

Asian Americans have, for nearly two decades, been the most rapidly growing racial group in the United States. More recently, they have also been growing significantly in their political presence, as measured by the growth of registered voters (an average increase of 600,000 per presidential election cycle), Congressional candidates (from 10 candidates in 2010, to 30 in 2012 and 40 in 2016), or the number of organizations involved in voter registration (from 154 participating in National Voter Registration Day in 2012 to 317 organizations in 2014).

Along with the growing presence of Asian American voters is a growing interest in the opinions and priorities of this electorate. This report presents the results of interviews conducted by telephone from April 11 to May 17, 2016, of 1,212 registered voters who identify as Asian American, producing an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 3%. Sampling was targeted towards the six largest national origin groups that together account for more than 75% of the Asian American adult citizen population. Interviews were conducted in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese, and included landlines and mobile phones.

The data on Asian American public opinion reveal that:

  • Asian Americans are shifting in party identification towards the Democratic Party, and exclusionary rhetoric is a likely cause
    • There has been a 12-point increase in the proportion of Asian Americans who identify as Democrats from 2012 to 2016 (pp. 27-28)
    • Bolstering evidence from 2014, our survey indicates that Asian American registered voters, including Independents, will punish candidates with anti- immigrant and anti-Muslim views (pp. 17-18)
  • Hillary Clinton has the most net favorability, while Trump is viewed very unfavorably
    • A large proportion still have no opinion Of Bernie Sanders (p. 9)
    • Many Republican candidates were viewed unfavorably this year, highlighting the challenges for a party trying to attract immigrant voter support amid exclusionary rhetoric by many presidential candidates (p. 10)
  • Ethnic media is an important source of political information, especially for Chinese American and Vietnamese American voters (pp. 31-34).
  • Young Asian Americans (ages 18 to 34) are a key demographic to watch
    • Jobs and economic inequality rank higher among their concerns (p. 20)
    • They are much more likely to get political news from Internet sources (p. 31)
    • They display the strongest reaction against exclusionary rhetoric (pp. 17-18)
    • Candidates and parties risk losing out on the support of this up-and coming generation that will shape the politics of the U.S. in the 21 st Century
  • Asian Americans tend to favor the Democratic Party on many key issues
    • The Democratic advantage is strongest on the environment, racial profiling, education, social security, and immigration reform (p. 21)
    • The Republican Party is evenly matched on only one issue: terrorism (p. 21)
  • Overall, voter enthusiasm is significantly higher than in 2014 (p. 11)
    • This bodes well for Asian American voter interest in the 2016 election year
    • But, voter mobilization and outreach by parties, candidates, and community organizations is key (p. 29).
    • Increased investments in voter outreach since 2012 seem only to have been sufficient to keep pace with this rapidly growing population, with no net increase in the rates of voter contact (p. 29).
    • Our 2012 post-election survey indicates that Asian Americans were less likely than other racial groups to be contacted, further indicating the need for further investments in partisan and nonpartisan voter outreach (p. 29).

Grab the entire 71 page .PDF report here: